Those who believe that US aid should be cut to Israel will only exacerbate the state of perpetual crisis that Israel has been in in recent years. There are many who do and the movement is growing. Politicians and the MSM screech that America is being blackmailed by the ‘power of the Benjamins’ into sending Israel vast amounts of money. But US aid to Israel is deliberately misrepresented. Unlike British foreign aid which unaccountably flings billions to despots, Israel is not freely given money. The Jewish state receives $4billion annually from the US but this is not a gift. The ‘aid’ consists mainly of credits to purchase armaments from American manufacturers. There are conditions to this military arrangement too, and rarely in Israel’s favour.
Myths and half-truths always abound when Israel is mentioned. The Democratic Party, responsible for inflaming anti-Semitism, has capitalised on the trope that Israel is draining American resources, and advocate ending this ‘aid’. It’s not only the Democrats who are pushing this agenda: Republicans such as Vivek Ramaswamy have joined the anti-Semitic trend. Their motivations are neither altruistic nor part of the ‘America First’ ideology, but rooted in Jew hatred.
The US also gives billions each year to the Palestinian Territories, where the money is siphoned off by corrupt rulers, and sometimes used to fund terror attacks on Israelis. The neo-Nazi haven of Ukraine is receiving $150billion this year from the American taxpayer.
The silence over these forms of American aid which are not subject to conditional arrangements, and the contrasting screams of protest over that given to Israel, inevitably ignites accusations of anti-Semitism.
This credit arrangement works well when a pro-Israel president such as Donald Trump is in office, but not when there is a hostile White House administration. Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden have used this ‘aid’ as a lever to impose self-harming policies on to the Jewish state while appeasing its mortal enemy, the terror state of Iran. That this ‘aid’ can be used as a stick to beat Israel is why some Jewish commentators are also calling for an end to it.
They are being shortsighted by doing so. Terminating this arrangement might make Israel more autonomous in the long term, and even strengthen its economy if freed to invest in its own military industries. But the gamble isn’t worth it. Given the persistence of global anti-Semitism and the increasing power of Iran, the abolition or even curtailment of US military aid to Israel would make it vulnerable to its enemies. A subsequent destruction of the Jewish state would endanger the lives of not only its citizens but all 8.2million diaspora Jews. Two thousand years of exile repeatedly showed the dangers Jews face without a home of their own.
Israel has a history of providing sanctuary to Jews forced to flee tyranny. Thousands of Holocaust survivors escaped to the newly created Jewish state after being subjected to pogroms in post-war Europe. Almost one million Mizrahi Jews were expelled from Muslim countries shortly after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, forcing them to make their own exodus to Israel. In 1978, more than 70,000 Iranian Jews fled Islamist persecution during the revolution there for the safety of Israel. Further geo-political calamities endangered even more in the diaspora.
Around 67,300 Yemenite and Ethiopian Jews were saved from war, famine and persecution by Israeli rescue missions called Operations Magic Carpet, Moses and Solomon. European Jews are still very much at risk of anti-Semitism and the position for South African Jewry is now dire. Without the might of Israel to protect it, the diaspora is vulnerable to ethnic cleansing and even death.
The obliteration of Israel would not only imperil the seven million Jews living there but also Christians, Muslims and minorities who call this country home. Palestinian Christians and homosexuals flee persecution in Gaza and the West Bank for asylum in Israel. Members of the Baháʼí faith were persecuted in Iran but protected in Israel, and have their headquarters in Haifa.
A fallen Israel would have wider consequences too. The Jewish state is on the front line of defence against global Islamist terrorism, especially from Iran and its proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas. In its attempts to create a universal caliphate, Iran is expanding as a global destabilising force and major exporter of terror. It’s even planning to station warships in the Panama Canal to protect Hezbollah’s expanding drug trade in South America, and encroach on to US borders.
Egyptian and Israeli military work together to combat jihadist activities of Isis and Hamas in the Sinai Peninsula, and Israel’s deconfliction mechanism with Russian forces in Syria restricts Hezbollah’s arms smuggling operations to Lebanon. Concerned about Western appeasement of Shia Iran, and its growing power in the region, Sunni Muslim states are now aligning themselves with the one country that the Mullahs of Tehran fear, Israel. Fed up too with Iran’s proxy war in Yemen, several signed the miraculous Abraham Accords, establishing diplomatic and economic ties with the Jewish state. Sudan, a Muslim country worried about Iranian operatives on its coastlines, joined the Accords in January. Christian majority countries in Africa, such as South Sudan and Chad, torn apart by Islamic fundamentalism, have established diplomatic ties with Israel. Unlike the brutal colonialism of China and Russia, Israel is a stabilising influence on the continent, building allies, and reciprocating by offering expertise in counter-intelligence water aid, technology, agriculture and energy infrastructure.
Should this military arrangement be nixed, Israel would most certainly falter, imperilling its good works and millions of Jews.